Our Lady of the Revelation at Tre Fontane

One of the most amazing stories of an atheist’s conversion to the Catholic Faith must surely be that of Bruno Cornacchiola, a violent man who hated with all his being everything to do with the Catholic Church, and had even vowed to murder the Pope!

Here is his story that I have adapted slightly from Marie Smith’s account in 2006:

Bruno Cornacchiola

Bruno Cornacchiola, though raised a Catholic grew not only to detest everything Catholic, but also nursed a deep hatred for the Catholic Church and vowed action in order to bring Her down. Bruno’s hatred was not helped by the fact that he grew up poor and kept bad company with unruly boys of his own age. After receiving only a rudimentary education Bruno joined the military which seemed to suit his need for constant excitement and fed his need to hate someone or something. One would think that with such hatred eating at his very soul, Bruno would be a lost cause, but God, “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth” (1 Timothy 2)

Before this though, Bruno decided to go and fight in the Spanish civil war, though he had no particular ideology Bruno fought simply for the love of it. When he arrived in Spain Bruno met up with a Lutheran man who convinced Bruno that the Catholic Church was the cause of all the world evils and needed to be destroyed, most especially the Pontiff! These words fed Bruno’s already active hatred of all things Catholic, and he vowed then to one day kill the Pope!  This was no empty threat for while in Spain Bruno bought a dagger in order to carry out this evil deed, his heart was indeed in the depths of darkness as his family also felt the wrath of this hate filled man. Bruno was not a good husband and constantly beat his wife, he also threw out any statues or other religious items from his home. The Cornacchiola household was certainly NOT a happy one, as his wife lived in fear everyday of her life and the children suffered as they themselves were beaten and witnessed their father’s violence towards their mother.

Due to his violent nature Bruno demanded that his wife leave the Catholic Church and join a protestant Church, under great duress Bruno’s wife did just that but only after she had applied conditions that Bruno would make the Nine Fridays devotion. Bruno scoffed at this ‘challenge’ and so did as his wife suggested, it had little impact on this enraged man and so Iolanda left the Catholic Church and joined her husband in the new Protestant Church, though she was sorely grieved at taking this action.

Bruno eventually found a steady job as a tram conductor in Rome, but this brought no relief to the family as Bruno’s violence intensified against Iolanda and his children who had to deal with his abuse and drunkenness. Iolanda though did not give up hope and constantly prayed for the salvation of her husband and the well being of their children. This man’s heart was so full of hate that he soon became an avowed communist much to his wife’s distress.

One day while he was preparing an anti-Church and anti-Mary speech, Bruno took his children to the park where he sat and wrote notes on his speech as his children played ball. As Bruno prepared his notes he could hear his children gleefully playing together, this did not deter Bruno from his course.

It was only when the children cried out that they had lost their ball that Bruno with great irritation left his notes and began to help his children look for the missing ball. While Bruno and his children were searching for the ball Bruno could hear his son Gianfranco say over and over ‘oh beautiful lady, beautiful lady’. Very much in fear for his son Bruno searched for Gianfranco and found him kneeling transfixed before the small grotto, soon all three of Bruno’s children knelt in awe at the sight of this most beautiful lady. Bruno immediately tried to get his children away from the Grotto but to no avail, he as strong as he was could not lift his own little one’s. Finally Bruno yelled, ‘God help us!’

Our Lady of the Revelation at Tre Fontane

Upon yelling this out, Bruno could finally see what his children were seeing, as two hands reached out and touched his eyes he gradually saw before him the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He also felt a swelling of great inner joy at the sight of his most gracious and lovely woman. Bruno like his children could not move or remove his eyes away from this glorious woman who was wearing a green mantle over a white dress with a rose sash tied at her waist. Her expression was one of deep sadness and Bruno felt immediate compunction over the sad look in her eyes, but still he could not tear his eyes away from such a sight as this most wondrous lady.

As Bruno took in this sight he also noticed that the beautiful and sad lady held a book in her hands which she cradled close to her heart and beneath her feet was a broken crucifix on top of a black cloth. Bruno could hardly believe what he was seeing but he could not move as he listened to our Lady speak to him.

Our Lady bent a little towards Bruno and said these words to him, “I am she who is related to the Divine Trinity. I am the Virgin of Revelation. You have persecuted me, now is the time to stop! Come and be part of the Holy Fold which is the Celestial Court on earth. God’s promise is unchangeable and will remain so. The nine First Fridays in honour of the Sacred Heart, which your faithful wife persuaded you to observe before you walked down the road of lies, has saved you.” Our Lady continued to instruct Bruno as she said, “Live the divine doctrine. Practise Christianity. Live the Faith….The Hail Marys that you pray with faith and love are like golden arrows that go straight to the heart of Jesus,” and, “Pray much and recite the Rosary for the conversion of sinners, of unbelievers and of all Christians.”

Bruno was stunned at her words and a transformation began to take place within the heart of this man who had been driven by hate but had now been touched by Divine Love through the help of Our Lady. Bruno’s heart began to beat with the chorus of love rather than the loud and raucous diatribe of hate, a miracle had happened within the soul of this one man which would affect his life forever more.

Our Lady also had more messages for this simple man, “I promise this special favour: With this sinful soil (the soil of the grotto) I shall perform great miracles for the conversion of unbelievers and of sinners…..Science will deny God and will refuse His calls.” Our Lady then spoke of her Assumption into Heaven, “My body could not and did not decay. I was assumed into Heaven by my Son and the angels.” The Blessed Mother also instructed Bruno with a special message for the Holy Father himself, “You must go to the Holy Father, the Pope, the Supreme Pastor of Christianity, and personally tell him my message. Bring it to his attention. I shall tell you how to recognize the one who will accompany you to see the Pope.”

After this message Our Lady disappeared leaving a pungent scent of roses, Bruno was almost in shock at what he had seen and heard, he would never be the same again. Upon returning home, Iolanda could smell the scent of roses and when she enquired the children blurted out that they had seen a most beautiful lady, Iolanda with tears in her eyes forgave her husband as Bruno begged her forgiveness for his vicious behaviour towards her and their children.

Bruno was indeed a changed man and he with his entire family re-converted back to the Catholic Faith which filled his wife’s heart with great joy. Never again would Bruno raise his hand in violence against his family.

It would take two years before Bruno could fulfill Our Lady’s request when he and a group were invited to pray the Rosary in private with Pope Pius XII. After completing this most holy prayer the Pope then asked if anyone wished to speak with him. Bruno immediately raised his hand and with great sorrow he knelt before the Pope and begged his forgiveness for his years of hatred and his intention to kill this holy man of God, the Pope unhesitatingly gave Bruno his forgiveness.

Even though over time many would try and use this simple man for their own purposes, Bruno has maintained what he saw and what our Lady revealed to him. He also continued to remain a devout Catholic with a sincere devotion to the Mother of God.

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41 Responses to Our Lady of the Revelation at Tre Fontane

  1. Toadspittle says:

    Well, Kathleen, if Toad reads this splendid and cautionary tale correctly, Naughty Old Bruno was a wife-beating Protestant, rather than a wife-beating Atheist.

    Hard to know which is worse, really, isn’t it? Not really worth the trouble of making a distinction.

    If I have read this wrongly, I will doubtless be swifly redirected.
    Bearing in mind that one can be both Protestant and communist simultaneously.

    BTW, which side did he fight on in the Spanish Civil War?


  2. Toadspittle says:

    “BTW, which side did he fight on in the Civil War?”

    The bad guys, nach.

    (But you never know with nutters, do yer?)


  3. Toadspittle says:

    Another link suggests Toad’s initial suspicions were correct. Bruno was a Fascist! Hell bent on killing Reds in Spain. Just for the money, of course, or the love of it, so that’s all right.

    As Toad said a few minutes ago, you never know with nutters, do you?

    I wondered why Kathleen was a bit coy about his war record.
    You knew, but didn’t want to run it out there, did you? On the side of the beloved Generalissimo? Puts a rather different light on things, doesn’t it?

    Honestly now! We don’t mind a bit. All friends here!


  4. 000rjbennett says:

    Splendid, splendid article, Kathleen. Thank you.


  5. Toadspittle says:

    Doesn’t the idea of a rabid, anti-Catholic communist signing up with a gang of fascists to fight and kill other rabid, anti-Catholic communists strike you as a little odd,Ooorjbennett?


  6. kathleen says:

    Thank you very much Robert. I am always marvelled and humbled by examples like this one, of Bruno Cornacchiola, that prove God’s unlimited Mercy and Love for Mankind. It proves that Our Blessed Lord will never tire of searching and waiting for the Prodigal Son to return to the ‘Fold’.


    Toad, I’m sorry I didn’t reply to you yesterday. The truth is simply that I was unable to get back to the computer for the rest of the day, so I didn’t read your comments till just now :-).

    If you read further about Bruno, you will see he was probably more of an Atheist at first, rather than a Protestant. He became a Protestant Lutheran only “in name” (after meeting a Lutheran in Spain) in order to snub the Faith of his birth. Not even true Protestants (who believe in Christian ethics of course) would behave so wickedly as he did, or have such evil designs as to kill the Holy Father.

    It’s irrelevant which side of the war Bruno had fought on; he’d fought for the joy of fighting, that’s all.


  7. Gloria Grove says:

    Having met Bruno some years before his death, it was an interesting experience to say the least. In his later years he did seem a bit off on some of his statements, but there was no doubting the fact of his conversion. Here is an article I wrote (not sure if you want me posting links on this blog, so my apologies if that is not allowed). http://www.thecatholictravelguide.com/TreFontane.html


  8. lisag says:

    The amazing thing to me is the power of the 9 Friday devotions. Bruno said them without any feeling of intent and yet he was saved. He may have even mocked them while saying them.


  9. Ray says:

    “Bruno joined the military [which] . . . fed his need to hate someone or something.

    Ya, I guess that’s what us military war veterans were all about . . . needing to “hate someone or something.”


  10. EnTeaJay says:

    Is there any indication of what Our Lady’s message for the Holy Father was? grt story!


  11. Nick says:

    Thank you for the article, Kathleen. God bless & keep you.


  12. Keith says:

    I saw a wonderful documentary on EWTN about Bruno and Tre Fontana 15-20 years ago. It said that Bruno continued to meet with the popes. I coud not find that particular documentary on YouTube, but I did find this one, in Italian. By watching it, you can see Bruno and photos of Tre Fontana:

    Perhaps someone knows how to obtain the documentary. It was very, very good. British, as I recall.


  13. Mary says:

    Oh what love & mercy! God desires for all mankind to be saved.


  14. Kale says:

    Friday June 29th, 10 PM on EWTN


  15. Kale says:


    You have to figure this is pre WW2 Italy. The military may have been a “profession”, but was not up to the standards of professionalism as in the US armed forces today (I assume you’re an American). Brutishness and even savagery were more in order. Read up on Italy’s treatment of it’s African colonies.


  16. kathleen says:

    Thanks for all the great comments.
    Yes, EWTN is putting on a programme about Bruno Cornacchiola and Our Blessed Lady´s apparition at Tre Fontane. (Thank you for this information Kale.) I read it on my EWTN wings newsletter, which first awakened my interest on the subject.


    “Bruno joined the military [which] . . . fed his need to hate someone or something.

    Ya, I guess that’s what us military war veterans were all about . . . needing to “hate someone or something”.

    Ray, in no way are military war veterans – who protect their people and countries from oppressors and enemies – considered men with a grudge or needing to “hate someone or something“.
    (My own father was a military man, and the kindest, most loving person you could find anywhere!) Bruno was an exception in his desire for violence (before his conversion), rather than the rule.


  17. Toadspittle says:

    “My own father was a military man, and the kindest, most loving person you could find anywhere!”

    Was he trained to kill people, Kathleen?


  18. Jon says:

    Many kind, gentle, and loving men have been drafted and trained to kill in spite of their nature. My own father was one. He fought to liberate South Korea from the Communists and took two wounds in the process. It wasn’t his choice to go to war, but he fought bravely when he was sent and was almost killed there.


  19. THe Pirate Queen says:

    I have visited Tre Fontane and have some earth from this site. It is a true acount of conversion, love, and Mary’s gift of peace to this troubled man and by extension to his family– and to all of us. This apparition confirms the Assumption which will soon be celebrated on August 15th. We are sorely in need today of devotions, the First Fridays, the First Saturdays, Eucharistic Adoration, Novenas, etc. Run– do not walk to the neareset Confessional to request forgiveness for sins. We must keep our souls in the state of grace always until God calls us to Himself! Our destiny it to be in Paradise!!! We must remain faithful to the Gospel.


  20. Thumper, what did your father say? says:

    Are toads considered a serpent?


  21. Ray says:


    “(My own father was a military man, and the kindest, most loving person you could find anywhere!)”

    I’m sure he was.

    So, why not a more generous view of soldiers? Why the military as morally deficient — typically functioning to nuture “hatred?” Maybe your dad was the exception? And the others — those “who protect their people, etc. etc.” were, at least, useful. Otherwise, the military and its members certainly can’t be found inhabiting the higher moral realms of “pure” Catholicism. I can’t buy that. Hope I’m not overstating your views.


    Yes, I’m American. While serving in Vietnam, I came across some very impressive people — exceptionally good, and some bad. Morally, a typical cross section of the American people, mostly good.

    So, as to the Americans vs the pre-WW II Italians, I find it hard to believe that the typical Italian soldier was any better or worse morally, than the typical American. Among these “brutish and savage” pre-WWII Italian soldiers were to be found St. Padre Pio as well as the Blessed John XXIII.

    OK, in those two cases they might have been somewhat better than the Americans.

    Wall Eyed Mr. Whippy,

    You are just too wonderful for words.


  22. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    OK, in Vietnam, forget about the many Mai Lais, Agent Orange with its resulting monstrous births, the millions of landmines left to maim and kill even today, the napalm, the 4 million Vietnamese killed. Or the evil horror of the oil wars in Iraq, or the murderous drone attacks on many innocent families in Pakistan in Afganistan – or military prison Guantanamo, or legal torture there or kidnapping. The list is endless. Says something doesn’t it? Hardly Christian don’t you think?

    Yes U.S. military “professionalism” is too wonderful for words.

    Take comfort though – the British and others were “professional” round the world in their time too.


  23. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    ………”or Afghanistan”.


  24. Cecilia says:

    Sometimes it’s not what you do that is wrong but instead the reason that you do it is wrong. Being in the military to serve your country and protect its’ citizens, in my opinion, is a noble calling. Bruno obviously joined the military to harm people, not to aid and protect them.


  25. Why is Our Lady wearing a green mantle ? Is there a message in this?
    What were the prophecies of Rome did she mention which were rejected by the Church there?
    The apparition was initially accepted – but then shelved.


  26. Ray says:

    Mr. Whippy,

    When it comes to moral rectitude, you talk a good game. Sort of like a Monday morning quarterback. You are surely “not like the rest of men.”


  27. kathleen says:

    Those words: “Bruno joined the military which seemed to suit his need for constant excitement and fed his need to hate someone or something“, were actually Marie Smith’s words, who wrote the original article, which I decided to leave unchanged. May I say that I think you are reading too much into what she says here. She was only talking about Bruno’s motives for joining the military, but not insinuating that these motives apply to the vast majority of military men.
    Cecilia’s comment hits the nail on the head.

    I have a great respect and admiration for the armed forces, and it is thanks to them and their sacrifice and courage, we in the west today can enjoy peace and democracy….. of some sort anyway :-). (It’s certain politicians who get my goat though, as they try to force Catholics to accept unjust laws that go against our beliefs! You in the USA know all about that with this new HHS mandate.)


    Toad asks:
    Was he [my father] trained to kill people, Kathleen?”

    I’m pretty sure my father, as an officer in the army, was trained in the use of firearms……. what a really dumb question! However, he happened to work in military intelligence, so I doubt he ever needed to kill anyone in battle…… but that is beside the point.


  28. kathleen says:

    The Pirate Queen @ 1:23am

    Great comment! Yes, we should learn from the message at Tre Fontane and other sites of Apparitions (Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal etc) and the need to transform our lives by prayer, devotions and Confession….. very important! We are pilgrims here on Earth, and our true home is Heaven. Why waste this precious time we have been given “to store up treasure” for ourselves and all souls?

    I think green is the colour of Hope.
    I’m not sure of the answer to your other question. Perhaps we shall be enlightened when we watch the EWTN programme.


  29. Ray says:


    Thanks. Glad I was mistaken.

    Could learn a thing or two from your tactful way of putting things. You’ve got a good heart.

    P.S. Where is this blog based. Which country?


  30. kathleen says:

    Thank you for your kind words….. and apologies for taking a few hours to get back to replying to your question.

    Our blog is not really based in any one country. We are mostly from the UK, but also from Ireland, New Zealand and Germany. We are of varying ages and professions, married and single.
    There is one thing we all have in common though…. a deep love for God, His Vicar on Earth, Pope Benedict XVI, and our Holy Catholic Church. Our mission is to spread the Faith, grow in grace and virtue, and to share and discuss the many topics of interest and piety our wonderful Faith encompasses.

    God Bless


  31. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Ray – what’s a quarterback? Is it small change which you get after buying something? You are a North American person (nos somos todos Americanos, Hugo said) and I’m not sure about this.

    I am not ‘as other men’ you opine. You mean I am better than others? I’ll go along with that. But last time I looked, it was all boringly normal.

    Squad HUP!

    Vaya con Dios


  32. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart! (smiley). “Being in the military to serve your country is a noble calling”…you say. That’s what the defendants said at Nuremberg and it did them no good at all!


  33. The Raven says:


    You’re in danger of conflating crimes committed by soldiers with their lawful work of protecting us from threats.

    And the most ghastly things that you cite are done at the instigation of civilian politicians: Iraq, Afghanistan, drone attacks, Gitmo, rendition. These are artefacts of politicians, not generals, not tommies; and often politicians of the left – men whose days of militant pacifism ended the moment they finally obtained a degree of political power.

    Have a care to blame the right people for the right things.


  34. Ray says:

    In American football, the quarterback is the player on the field responsible for coordinating and directing play, and the one to whom the ball is snapped at the beginning of each play.”

    “Monday morning quarterback
    American football: A person who criticizes or passes judgement with benefit of hindsight. Monday morning refers to the games played or broadcast on weekends, with criticisms leveled by a spectator the following week.”

    “. . . the rest of men. . .” — Luke 18:9-14 “. . . I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week . . . etc.”


  35. jothi mary says:

    Dear Father,

    Kindly pray for all my intentions.Especially for my healing of blood sugar,weakness of my body,knee pain,constipation and other physical sickness which I have .Pray to solve all my financial problems and to get my share of my father’s property.Also for a very good job.For protection from my enemies.For guidance in my relation with Baby,Moidu and TNK.

    Thank you,

    Jothi Mary


  36. Do you have any contact info for Our Lady of Revelation- we want to try to have a mass there- in May
    Thanks Linda – enforce38@aol.com


  37. Pingback: Message 733 – 13 March 2016 | Amor Dei

  38. Alfred says:

    Prayer Request:
    Please pray for Eric McDonald-Please pray for his conversion and for the salvation of his soul.Pray that Christ The King will have mercy upon him and save him.

    “May Jesus in his compassion guide Eric McDonald to the pathways of salvation.May Jesus in his love bless and protect the soul of Eric McDonald.May Jesus the Divine healer, heal Eric in spirit, soul, and body. May Jesus The Divine Redeemer redeem Eric from this world and the devil.May Christ The Savior Save Eric and bring to His holy Kingdom in the name of Jesus Christ Amen!!!”


  39. Roger says:

    Thank you Kathleen
    For those whose opinions are set by the world and worldy, the shifting sands of public opinion. Saul stoned St Stephen to death! In pursuit of the Church Saul was blinded and converted and is known as Paul.
    Far to many young men and lives were wasted in so called wars the 20th century. The principal masonic nations? England, Germany, France, USA ? The End of WW II Roosvelt, Stalin and Churchill who carved up the world Masons.

    Now what delights me is a Pope acting as a Pope. Leo XIII whom St Therese opened her heart to at 15 years of age. Bruno to Pius XII (The Marian Pope , Fatima and the Dogma Of The Assumption!!)

    Now Light is Christ and that is the Faith . Public Revelation; Sacred Tradition. The Light shining in darkness. BUT change the Law and the Light becomes Night. The purpose of Masonry? Darkness visible is not to destroy BUT to turn the Church into darkness (hence subtle reinterpretations of the Faith and the sacred Laws). This global war (battle between Light and Night has been raging since 1960)

    Thank you for this story of Bruno and as you can see it was followed by howls and croaks.


  40. Roger says:

    I will pray for Eric McDonald. I recommend that you turn to St Padre Pio !!


  41. Aunt Raven says:

    An earlier poster asked about the colours Our Lady was wearing: the green cloak appears to be more of a blue-green, which reminds of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is an icon of the Virgin of Rev. 12:1-2. The blue-green blends the hue of the sky (heaven) with the colour of hope.

    The rose-color of her sash suggests the rose vestments of both Gaudete Sunday (in Advent) and Laetare Sunday (in Lent) which means we are near the end of the season of penitence and expectation; rose is the hue of joy in the midst of sorrow.

    The book Our Lady holds is “ash grey” which suggests both penitence, and the book of life, in which our names should be written; this includes all our deeds, good and bad, upon which we shall be judged. It also suggests the Book of Revelation, which is the triumphant Word of God, though victorious only after terrible tribulation and deserved chastisement.


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